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Students present academic research completed alongside faculty to culminate the QUIP-RS program

Emily Flamme and William Gavin

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 Students were recognized Wednesday, Oct. 23, for academic research as part of the Quinnipiac University Interdisciplinary Program for Research and Scholarship (QUIP-RS).

The QUIP-RS program is available to undergraduate students of all majors, and allows students to work with faculty members on research projects of their choosing over an eight-week period.

There were 11 students involved in QUIP-RS this year, and all of them had a topic they researched with a faculty mentor. At the symposium, the students got a chance to show their discoveries through a poster presentation.

The event began with a keynote speech and presentation by Giovanni Zinn, the city engineer of the City of New Haven, who has long worked on environmental and architectural issues in the city — ranging from reducing the carbon footprint, creating sustainable infrastructure and designing resistant shorelines.

“Long-term as a coastal community the biggest disruption that we face from an infrastructure and economic point of view is climate change,” Zinn said.

Connor Lawless
The city engineer of New Haven presented about the effects of climate change on New Haven.

Like Zinn, students researched and developed theories and solutions to a great variety of problems and presented their findings at the event.

The research students completed included discoveries about the effects of prenatal stress, underbillings for inpatients at hospitals, masculinity depression and stigma and professional probability in relation to sports brand sponsorship. Other topics of research explored the removal of lead from water, the tornadic inflow measurement probe and determining whether a bacteriophage affects the Lyme disease agent.

Ethan Moriarty is a junior mechanical engineering major who completed a research project on severe weather, specifically, tornadoes. He researched a new type of technology that more accurately predicts tornadoes.

“The tornado probe was fascinating, that was something that I had been following since the very beginning,” Dr. Alexandre de Lencastre, associate professor of biological sciences and Director of QUIP-RS, said. “We are just on the heels of having a tornado hit in Hamden, so this was perfect timing to study this.”

Joe Battalia, a junior biology major, studied the factors that affect the transition of dependence to independence in tree swallow chicks. He studied urban birds compared to rural birds and how that affects the birds’ life.

“A lot of us had some assumptions about birds, and how you sustain ecosystems for birds,” Dr. Katie Place, associate professor of strategic communication, said. “We had our assumptions smashed to pieces by this conversation about these birds.”

Two students, Juliana Shevchenko, a junior computer software engineering major, and Berrak Teklap, a junor industrial engineering major, worked on programming that would look into reducing underbilling for patients at Hartford Hospital.

“The students who partnered together to apply their computer science, their engineering skills, they helped to generate more efficient computer systems at a hospital,” Place said. “I think that’s fascinating too, to have a big impact on businesses and on society.”

The program has a committee of five members who oversee everything from the students’ application process to the final product. The program emphasizes the importance of research in a student’s education.

“It enables them to see how everything comes full circle,” Place said. “All of the skills you’ve learned throughout your college career can come together in this project. You learn how to accurately translate those results to meaningful implications to help communities and ultimately help society.”

The purpose of QUIP-RS is to foster students’ curiosity and provide them with the necessary resources to complete research on something they care about.

“The program teaches them resilience, it teaches them problem-solving and enhances their learning experience,” Lencastre said. “I love this program because I get to learn things I knew nothing about from students who are passionate about their topic.”